CIEE Frederick Douglass Global Fellows Begin World Tour to Study Social Justice Leadership

Authored By:


The 2023 cohort of Frederick Douglass Global Fellows spent the last four days in Washington, D.C., kicking off a four-week social justice leadership program that will take them from our nation’s capital to Cape Town, Dublin, Derry, and Belfast.

The twelve 2023 Frederick Douglass Global Fellows are students of color from colleges and universities across the United States who were selected for this competitive award based on their demonstrated leadership and communication skills, their commitment to agitating for positive change using techniques of non-violence, and their history of meaningful service to others. Over the next month, they will engage in a comparative study of social justice leadership in America, South Africa, Ireland, and Northern Ireland, exploring the legacies of Daniel O’Connell, Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, John Lewis, John Hume, Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and other giants of social change. They will examine how great leaders influenced one other and impact today’s social justice movements.

The Government of Ireland is cosponsoring the 2023 Frederick Douglass Global Fellows in honor of the meeting in Dublin in 1845 between 27-year-old abolitionist Frederick Douglass and the great Irish reformer Daniel O’Connell. O’Connell is credited with influencing Douglass’ worldview and expanding his life’s work to agitate against all forms of social injustice.   

Photo for blog post CIEE Frederick Douglass Global Fellows Begin World Tour to Study Social Justice Leadership

While in Washington, D.C., the Frederick Douglass Global Fellows participated in Changemaker workshops led by Ashoka; attended class on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to mark the 160th anniversary year of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and the 60th Anniversary of Dr. King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech; learned of the influence of women leaders on Frederick Douglass during a tour of his former home, the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site; reflected on the history of Africans in America during a private tour of the National Museum of African American History and Culture; and completed their time in D.C. with a round table discussion on Ireland's history of seeking peace and conflict resolution with Irish Ambassador to the U.S., Geraldine Byrne Nason. 

The next leg of the journey takes the Frederick Douglass Global Fellows to Cape Town, South Africa, where they will be led through a history of social change in South Africa by Mpho Tutu Van Furth, the youngest daughter of the late social and religious leader Archbishop Desmond Tutu.